Kriya Expands Gene Therapy Pipeline and Establishes its Rare Disease Therapeutic Area Division with the Acquisition of Warden Bio
Portfolio includes five investigational gene therapy programs for glycogen storage disorders that have no existing FDA-approved treatments available
Warden Bio Co-Founder Kunal Kishnani joins as President of Kriya’s Rare Disease Division and will lead its overall strategic, development, and partnership activities
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., — January 7, 2022 — Kriya Therapeutics, Inc., a fully integrated company pioneering novel technologies and therapeutics in gene therapy, announced today that it has acquired Warden Bio, a company developing novel AAV-mediated gene therapies for glycogen storage disorders (GSDs). Under the agreement, Kriya has obtained exclusive rights to Warden Bio’s five preclinical gene therapy programs. This acquisition serves as the foundation for Kriya’s Rare Disease Division focused on the discovery and development of gene therapies for rare diseases.
GSDs are a group of rare disorders caused by distinct single enzyme deficiencies involved in the synthesis or breakdown of glycogen. Warden Bio was established with a goal of comprehensively addressing multiple GSDs without approved therapies based on pioneering gene therapy technologies originally developed at Duke University. Currently, approved therapies are only available for one type of GSD, Pompe disease (GSD II).
“We are incredibly enthusiastic about the compelling research that has led to the development of Warden Bio’s pioneering gene therapies for GSDs,” said Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kriya. “This acquisition and the establishment of our Rare Disease Division align with our commitment to accelerating the advancement of best-in-class gene therapies. Kriya’s technology and manufacturing platforms uniquely position our company to drive meaningful progress to address a group of diseases in desperate need of new and better treatments.”
Together with the acquisition, Warden Bio co-founder Kunal Kishnani is joining Kriya as President of its Rare Disease Division, where he will lead overall strategic, development, and partnership activities. Prior to founding Warden Bio, Mr. Kishnani was a member of the corporate development team at Roivant Sciences, where he was responsible for helping to evaluate and negotiate new investment opportunities and strategic alliances. Mr. Kishnani also previously served as Co-Founder and Head of Operations at Genevant, where he was instrumental in driving key milestones for the company, including its launch, establishment of business operations, and execution of multiple collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Kishnani has degrees in finance and accounting from Elon University.
“I am excited to join Kriya and help advance its mission of expanding the reach of gene therapy to new frontiers,” said Mr. Kishnani. “Despite recent advancements in the rare disease field, many conditions remain significantly undertreated. There is an urgent need to address rare diseases such as GSDs, and we are committed to making the treatment of these patients our priority – both previously at Warden Bio and now at Kriya.”
The new GSD gene therapy programs Warden Bio brings to Kriya are based on research led by the lab of Dr. Priya Kishnani, Chen Family Distinguished Professor & Division Chief for Medical Genetics at Duke University, in close collaboration with Dr. Aravind Asokan, Professor & Director of Gene Therapy at Duke University and Co-Founder of StrideBio. Over the past three decades, Dr. Kishnani has built an interdisciplinary team with world-leading GSD expertise whose efforts are most notably demonstrated by the long-standing research and clinical experience that resulted in FDA approval of alglucosidase alfa (Myozyme/Lumizyme) as the first available treatments for Pompe disease. Dr. Kishnani and Dr. Asokan will become Scientific Advisors to Kriya as the company advances its portfolio of gene therapies for GSDs and other diseases.
Kriya is a fully integrated company pioneering novel technologies and therapeutics in gene therapy. The company aims to revolutionize how gene therapies are designed, developed, and manufactured, improving speed to market and delivering significant reductions in cost. Kriya is organized into four principal business units: Kriya Technologies™, Kriya Therapeutics™, Kriya R&D™, and Kriya Manufacturing™. The company is advancing a deep and diversified pipeline of innovative gene therapies in multiple therapeutic area divisions, with current pipeline programs in ophthalmology, oncology, rare disease, and chronic disease. Kriya was founded by pioneers in the biopharmaceutical industry and is backed by leading life sciences and technology investors. The company has core operations in Silicon Valley, California and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.kriyatx.com and follow on LinkedIn.